Known for its record-breaking height and sophisticated Art Deco style, the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s, if not the world’s, most recognized landmarks. While the building is often used in popular culture as light-natured fodder—such as the opening backdrop to your favorite cookie-cutter rom-com or the romantic meeting spot for star-crossed lovers—the building’s past is far more ominous than many of us realize. From failed suicide attempts to accidental plane crashes, its history casts a vibrant lineup of plot-lines and characters spanning the past 90 years.
Empire State Building
Photo courtesy of Empire State Realty Trust
A memorial honoring the lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic will be held at the Lincoln Memorial next week and cities and towns are invited to join the tribute with ceremonies of their own. President-elect Joe Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee announced plans to feature a lighting around the Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. on January 19, the evening before the inauguration. The Empire State Building will participate by playing its red heartbeat light show, which first debuted last year as a tribute to the city’s frontline workers.
Photo courtesy of the Empire Realty Trust
One of the city’s most romantic spots, both in the movies and in real life, is offering couples a free photoshoot. The Empire State Building will treat twosomes to a free photo session from a professional photographer at the iconic skyscraper’s 86th-floor observatory. On October 10, visitors will receive a complimentary photoshoot with the price of admission to the main observatory.
Progress of the restoration; Courtesy of the Empire State Realty Trust
What’s old is new again. The iconic spire of the Empire State Building has returned to its original 1931 silhouette following a year-long restoration. The Empire State Realty Trust removed a network of archaic antennas and other unnecessary material found between floors 88 and 103 from the mooring mast, providing an obstacle-free look at the skyscraper’s unique 200-foot Art Deco pinnacle.
One of the world’s most iconic buildings will reopen its observatory to the public next week. The Empire State Building announced on Monday that visitors can return to the skyscraper’s 86th- and 102nd-floor observatory spaces starting Monday, July 20. Capacity will be reduced by more than 80 percent, temperatures will be checked, and face coverings will be required. Plus, the building is deploying a number of improvements for ventilation, including MERV 13 filters, an air purification system, and mechanisms to bring fresh air into the space. New York City could enter phase four as early as July 20, but no official announcement has been made yet.
At sunset on Thursday, May 21, the Empire State Building, Central Park Arsenal, Washington Square Park Arch, Coney Island’s Parachute Jump, and the Bronx’s Ranaqua Park will “go green” to honor parks workers, who have been part of the city’s essential workforce during the current COVID crisis. #GoingGreenForParkies “is the ultimate acknowledgment and thank you for all their hard work,” which has kept public parks well-maintained “in support of the mental and physical health of all visitors,” according to a press release.
After kicking off on Saturday, the Empire State Building will continue to put on nightly light shows in honor of specific first responders and essential workers. The landmark began its #HEROESSHINEBRIGHT series by paying tribute to the FNDY and EMS on Friday, doctors, nurses, and the medical community on Saturday, and correction officers on Sunday. Tonight, watch the building blink orange, blue, and white in honor of the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as blue and gold in honor of the U.S. Navy.
Photo by Anthony Quintano on Wikimedia
A New York City landmark is looking to lift the spirits of New Yorkers and keep the light in the city bright during this challenging time. The Empire State Realty Trust on Friday launched a music-to-light show from the skyscraper’s famous tower, in partnership with iHeartMedia. A new show, designed by lighting artist Marc Brickman, will premiere every Friday night and play nightly for one week.
Photos courtesy of Empire State Realty Trust
French artist Johann Perathoner has created a panoramic 3D replica of Manhattan that is currently on view in the Empire State Building’s lobby. Though compact in scale, the composition is ambitious in scope and captures an incredible amount of detail in its small size. Made up of vibrant colors and 100 different textures that include rhinestones and fake diamonds, the piece took Perathoner more than 1,000 hours to complete.
Rideshare service Uber took a year-end look at some of its most requested destinations throughgout the world, revealing some surprising facts. For tourists using Uber, the Empire State Building stands as tall as it ever did: The Big Apple icon beat out the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Disneyland as the most requested endpoint on the planet (the Freedom Tower came in at second place). In the state of New York, the most requested destination overall wasn’t a tall tower but a bustling mall in Elmhurst, Queens, according to the New York Post.